English Composition II

Author: ayah (Page 1 of 7)

Final portfolio + Reflection

Unit 1

Ana Behibak. The phrase that was not used in this house often , but it was used often with my sidi, which means grandpa in Arabic. Ana Behabik translated to English means ‘I love you.’ Although it may be unusual that it wasn’t said in my house very often, my sidi never failed to say it all the time. My sidi was a very special person who loved all fourty of his grandchildren equally. He would always stay over in my house which I enjoyed very much. 

        “Ana Behibak Ayah” is what he would always tell me randomly. That was his way of showing love and affection. Saying those words was his love language towards all of his grandchildren. Of course, to show gratitude and affection, I would say Ana Behibak back. That phrase was special.

       That one memory where the phrase ‘Ana Behibak’ was used by my sidi is the one that I’ll never forget. The mutual sharing of love and affection that time takes place in that moment is always cherished and thought about. It was a cloudy breezy day at a park, mini rain puddles everywhere, the smell of fresh grass everywhere, chatter everywhere, and food at every picnic table. It was a lovely day. It was behind a BJs but our family marked it as a place to have food gatherings here and there depending on the occasion. There was a family gathering. The tables were filled with food. There were little kids riding their scooters. The uncles and aunts all having conversations in every corner. Then there were cousins and I that chilled at an empty table. 

       The reason for the family gathering was because my sidi and his wife were leaving back to Palestine. Therefore my dad and his brothers wanted to throw one last family gathering where we can all spend some cherishable memories before he had left back.

       It was a few moments later where my cousins and I decided to walk up to my sidi who was sitting on the bench and decide to keep him company. He had a pen in his pocket. It was a black pen that had gold on the clip and cap. He had many of those pens and had left most in whichever of his son’s house he stayed at. There were two left in my dad’s house. One of them I got to keep, which is a special pen of mine. I never write with it, but instead I keep it as a reminder of him and that special memory. 

       Back to the topic now, my cousins and I wanted him to write on our hands which he had did. We had all widened our palms as he took turns writing on each one of our hands. On each of our hands he wrote ‘Ana Behibak’ in Arabic letters with a tiny heart. That moment was unforgettable. We each hugged our sidi and then proceeded to all stand in a circle where we took pictures of our hands. The flashes that went in and out after each picture taken signified this moment that brought love. The last few moments after that memory was a bit blurry but I remember it being all laughs and happiness.

     Unfortunately when my sidi was back in Palestine, he passed away two years later…the year 2020. I found out during my chemistry class while I was taking a quiz which I had ended up failing miserably due to the news. My family and I had met with our other family members to grieve his death, and it was a dark time. My cousins and I would share memories of him though that made us miss him terribly. And then we talked about that one time he wrote on each one of our hands with love. As sad as we were, we knew our sidi would want us to still smile. We all walked to carvel later that night to get ice cream and just cheer up while still sharing memories of our sidi. That day went from sadness to laughter. We sat at the playground of this Church just eating our ice cream. 

    Ana Behibak became a more meaningful thing than it was before my grandpa passed away. It taught me to always tell the ones I love that I love them. It is used at my house more commonly now and I always make sure to tell my family and friends that I love them the same way my sidi has. My cousins and I still hold the pictures we had taken of our hands as a small but extremely cherish-able memory. I will still continue to tell my loved ones that I love them just as a legacy I see that my sidi left behind.

Unit 2

Self love is self care. Its purpose is to bring the importance for the well being of an individual to love themselves. It is a reminder that allows them to take care of themselves mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The term itself has been stamped in the year 1950s, and has been practiced since then. Self care is reinstated in many ideas of what people find taking care of themselves to be. Self maintenance is more than its little physical acts, but it’s taking care of yourself mentally as well. Due to the global pandemic outbreak that occurred in 2020, a lot of people have connected with the practice of self care. The act of it was deeply encouraged during the time of quarantine since it has had an impact on many people.  The pandemic has caused many people to feel isolated, empty, and overall, have a low self-esteem. Self care allows for individuals struggling mentally, physically, and emotionally to deeply work on themselves by treating themselves well. Or even if they aren’t struggling, it’s all about maintaining the well being of yourself, to feel happy and whole as a person. 

Growing up as a teenager in the generation where social media started to grow and become popular, I’ve seen others including myself feel affected by it in a way. It built insecurities, low self-esteem, and overall a negative impact on mental health. Having to compare ourselves to unrealistic perceptions of others looks wise, social status, financial status, etc, just brings pressure to yourself where you feel like you have to live the same as well.

That’s particularly the reason I became passionate about taking care of myself. I practiced making myself feel happy by doing little acts of pampering such as trimming my hair every once in a while, doing my brows, and sticking to my facial skin routine. I would work out consistently, bake, and even do photography. Self care is different for everyone. It’s truly important that individuals work on the comfort of themselves as they’d feel much happier. Unfortunately, not everyone feels courageous enough to do those things for themselves. 

Some individuals diminish the idea of self care as they find it to be selfish. They find themselves feeling guilty even doing the slightest thing for them. The true key to being able to take care of yourself is to realize that the only way you can love and keep others safe is to do it for yourself as well. Self care is not selfish, as it allows you to fuel your own content without depriving others of theirs. To be able to move forward with life, is to be able to maintain your well being and mentally health. 

In consonance with the article ‘Why Self-care isn’t Selfish,’ it states “So there are aspects of self-care related to sleep — everyone should take a bath, light candles. There’s this idea that we need to calm down. But what can you experience today that is going to fill you with the positive emotions you need to do the most important things in your life? It’s about refueling yourself in order to engage with life” This was claimed by Dr. McGonigal who explained the importance of practicing self care for yourself. He explains in an aspect that self care isn’t about relaxing and taking it easy on yourself, but it is to feel more alive and to stay motivated with your daily life. It’s more than it’s little act of pampering yourself, but more of being kinder to yourself.  Dr. Groppel also stated “Self care is a lot of things…It can be exercise, creating boundaries. It’s keeping yourself safe emotionally. Maybe it’s not arguing with that uncle about politics right now. It can be spiritual. But you are in control of it.” This means that you are in power of your own content. You are in power of keeping yourself satisfied and confiding in your own well-being. 

Many individuals reinstate the idea of self care and what it may be. The act of safe keeping the well being of yourself has evolved over time. The one thing that hasn’t changed was the intention of it. At times, the acts of self care may not even feel like it, which often causes individuals to feel discouraged. It often affects their mental health which makes it a struggle to even take care of themselves. 

Doing self care is more than just its little activities such as bathing or reading a book, but it’s really making yourself a priority and making good daily habits. People have had their concepts about what self care was. At one point it was pampering yourself, but now it’s a whole new meaning. According to the article ‘How to make ‘Self Care’ actually feel like Self care,’ it states “The ‘face masks and bubble baths’ of self-care hit a peak a little bit ago, then people started rebelling against it and talking about how it’s no longer that…It’s about mental health and taking care of yourself.” People feel that it’s not enough hence why they feel discouraged. The whole key to finding a self care routine that can work for you is to break down into four components. According to the article ‘How to make ‘Self Care’ actually feel like Self care,’ it states “We can break down self-care into four buckets: physical, mental, social and spiritual. Using those frames of references, you can begin to experiment with different techniques that might work.” The point of breaking down into four buckets would be to identify which one is mainly affecting you. For most people, the social aspect of their health could be affecting them the most because they tend to feel lonely which impacts their emotional, physical, and mental health. The solution in terms of self care would be to start figuring out what’s good for you. 

How can one start practicing taking care of themselves? And even if they already do, how can they stick to it? As earlier mentioned, self care is many different acts for people.  It is the idea of making it a consistent routine for yourself. Once it becomes a habit, that’s when you may start to feel your levels of serotonin rise. One of the acts of taking care of myself that truly makes me feel content is buying any type of fragrances. I love buying lotions, perfumes, body scrubs, body butters, and just anything that has to do with scents and body care. I’d say this is self care to me since I have a joy for collecting and adding it to my pamper routine. However, self maintenance can vary from pampering, shopping, hobbies, or even just sitting down and watching television.  The main purpose is that as long as it makes you feel good, then it’s something you should do. 

In the article “How do you practice self care?,” it mentions the different routines of employees who practice self care. Each mention the one aspect of their routine that they find to be therapeutic to them. One of them is named Fransesca Donner and she brings up how she’s made her dad’s spaghetti her own spaghetti. She says “When life starts spinning too fast, I go to the supermarket and get what I need: ground beef, garlic, mushrooms, carrots, flat leaf parsley, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, dried pasta. My world starts to calm just seeing the ingredients collected together in the basket.” That is her form of self care. Buying the ingredients of the spaghetti originally made by her father is what calms her down. Another individual in the article is Bonnie Wertheim. Bonnie discusses how she’s an introvert but still makes alone time for herself. She says “I am an introvert, which is to say that I love socializing, but it exhausts me. So I try to do at least one thing alone every day. Most mornings I’ll run a few miles around my quiet neighborhood…It keeps my interpersonal-emotional tank full and also reduces the daily number of nagging dysmorphic thoughts that pass through my brain.” She does morning runs for herself just for alone time which makes her feel good. Not only is she devoting time to herself, but is also doing something that keeps her mind at peace too. 

Self care is a form of self love. There are many things or just one thing you can do, but as long as it makes you feel good, do it. Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish, it’s making sure your well-being is at a good place mentally, physically, and spiritually. As an individual myself, I find new ways to add on to my self care routine. Now you should be able to find the things that keep your body and mind healed and content. 

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Reflection

As a reader, writer, and scholar, I have learned so much about myself. I learned more ways to be creative. Not only when it comes to completing assignments, but being more creative in the outside world. I also learned how to stay professional when writing, rather than just keeping awkward sentences and informal statements. Comparing my work from last semester to now, I can see that my work is much more better now. I saw that in Unit 1, I have wrote a lot of awkward sentences that didn’t make sense. I also used words without giving context as well which is why I believe that my work compared to early on the semester has made big improvement. Now coming to reading, I am able to identify run on sentences, fragments, and awkward sentences, and refrain from them.

My least favorite assignment was Unit 1. As much as I enjoyed sharing a special phrase with meanings behind it, I was struggling with how I can be more descriptive with it. I ended up leaving a lot of awkward sentences in my writing because I was unsure of how I can show and define the importance behind that phrase. Now looking back at it, I can see where I have went wrong with them. As I read it, I fixed a lot which allowed me to understand my writing mistakes and not make them again, especially writing in different genres for our unit assignments.

When I went from writing an essay to transporting it into a comic strip for Unit 3, I was more focused on getting the illustrations to really match the message coming from the essay. I wanted to make the content appealing for my audience. The attractive the content and design looks, the more people will look and see the message of the comic strip.

My early beliefs about my writing was that I really thought I was doing great in my writing. I thought that as I was typing, my writing was perfectly fine and didn’t even have to be looked back at. Even myself, I really believed that I made 0 mistakes in my writing except grammar which autocorrect fixed. However that changed after revising and seeing how many awkward phrases I had in my writing. I saw that it’s important to really double check and make sure to see if there’s anything to fix. Whereas for myself, I would often doubt at times that I would do so badly despite my efforts and beliefs with my writing.  I would often assume that while writing, the outcome will still turn out horribly. Now though, I believe that after picking up lessons and keeping in mind what to write and what to avoid, there’s no need to doubt but to really write what comes to mind rather than doubting I’ll do good. The meaning of being a writer is to just know that there’ll be an outcome to it anyways.  I learned to just write what comes to mind and what is relevant while following guidelines.

My experience with revising my own pieces are good. I don’t acknowledge that it is my own, but just simply read it and fix what needs to be fixed. It teaches me what I need to keep in mind for the next few papers that I write. When I read Unit 1 and Unit 2, I saw that I did make a few mistakes and fixed them. Overall, my experience was good as it allowed me to pick up from my mistakes and improve them to be better as a writer and reader.

I have adapted to online writing since my junior year of high school. I have wrote many essays online since the global pandemic so I feel that adapting to it mid semester was not the slightest bit difficult. However, I find it to be overwhelming and stressful especially having assignments from my other classes.

This course was extremely challenging to me. I was not only stressed from this class but I was stressed by my other classes as well. I feel that because of my personal problems outside of school, it was affecting my performance in completing school assignments. In this class, missing assignments just kept piling on for me. I began to try my best and really fight the lack of motivation I had by having motivation. My only goal is to reach an A in this class and that’s how I overcame the struggles I had in this class.

 

Unit 3 final draft

Artist statement:

In making this piece, I wanted to inspire people around our age that may be in college or high school and dealing with mental health problems, or even learning to just take care of themselves. I wanted to show that self care can be anything that makes you feel whole as a person, just doing anything that brings a shine into your day.

I believe that doing a comic strip was the best way to reach the audience because I wanted to show illustrations. I feel that by illustrating what self-care may be, they can see that they can do the same for themselves. I also thought it might be more attractive to my audience allowing them to see that anything can promote your health, mentality, and your well-being overall.

My progress doing this piece for unit 3 was enjoyable. I’d say it felt like taking care of myself the way I felt serotonin just designing the comic strips how I like it. It also reminded me how important it is to take care of myself and just devoting time to taking care of my mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. I feel that if I did want to do things differently, I could’ve done a POV comic strip of self-care rather than just illustrating different types of ways of taking care of yourself.

However, I do hope that my audience that views the strips can see that there is more than just pampering yourself. I would like them to be inspired to do the same for themselves and focus on making themselves happy as a person.

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